Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On this MLK Day, the US Human Rights Network celebrates the legacy and the leadership of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the release of its 2017 Advancing Human Rights Report.
The United States has a complicated and paradoxical relationship to human rights law. 2018 marks 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. The US played a leadership role in the drafting the UDHR which set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. While the US played a leadership role in the drafting of the UDHR, it has ratified several of them with reservations that limit the enforceability of the conventions through domestic law and in some cases, failed to ratify them at all. Furthermore, the United States has failed to uphold provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), to which it is bound by international law.
Advancing Human Rights: A Status Report on Human Rights in the United States spotlights human rights violations across the full spectrum of rights-from civil and political to economic, social and cultural.
This report offers a comprehensive overview and insight on human rights struggles in the United States during 2017. Written for advocates and activists, the report identifies issues and links them to relevant human rights law. The report also enumerates targeted demands from justice leaders and recommendations from international accountability and governance structures. For each issue area, the report lays out where international human rights law has potentially been violated. The major issue areas of this report include: environmental and climate justice, decent work, healthcare, education, housing, right to marry, reproductive justice and security of person, criminal justice and mass incarceration, voter suppression, immigration policy and privacy. In addition, the report reflects the work of the US Human Rights Network membership.
We hope that this report will serve as a useful tool in advancing a people-centered human rights movement in the U.S.
EDITOR: S.K. Hankins
ASSISTANT EDITOR: B. Ishmael Beckett
DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHS: B. Ishmael Beckett
CO-AUTHORS: Emily Ingram (Human Rights Implementation/Education), Anastassia Fagan (Environmental/Climate Justice and Human Rights), Fianna McGregor (Human Right to Food, Water, and Sanitation), Courtney Morales Thrall (Human Rights of Immigrants), Balthazar Beckett (Criminal Justice and Human Rights), Christophe Ringer (Criminal Justice, Political Human Rights - Voting and Dissent), Kia Roberts Warren (Human Right to Life and Security of Person), Jaclyn Michelle Ambrecht (Human Right to Healthcare), Emma Hyndman (Reproductive Human Rights), Emily Spangenberg (Housing and Human Rights), Abbey Docherty (Education and Human Rights), Abbey Docherty (Human Right to Work, Fair Wages, and Leisure), Alyssa Aquino (Human Right to Marriage and Family), Alex Glomset and Christophe Ringer (Privacy and Human Rights). Additional research support was provided by the following people: Remi Alli, Eugene Stanley, Dean Ferdenzi, and Ramon Montano Marquez.
RESEARCHERS: Kia Roberts-Warren and Emily Ingram (Human Rights Implementation/Education), Anastassia Fagan and Emily Spangenberg (Environmental/Climate Justice and Human Rights), Jaclyn Michelle Ambrecht and Fianna McGregor (Human Right to Food, Water, and Sanitation), Courtney Morales Thrall and Carolyn Mills (Human Rights of Immigrants), Christophe Ringer (Criminal Justice and Human Rights), Marcel Yameogo and Safiya Nanji (Political Human Rights - Voting and Dissent), Chanravy Proeung and Kia Roberts Warren (Human Right to Life and Security of Person), Jennifer Fearon and James M Tourkistas (Human Right to Healthcare), Jennifer Fearon and Rutuja Pol (Reproductive Human Rights), Brenda de Leon and Rachel O’Leary (Housing and Human Rights), Abbey Docherty (Education and Human Rights), Emily Ingram and Marielle Ali (Human Right to Work, Fair Wages, and Leisure), Alyssa Aquino (Human Right to Marriage and Family), Alex Glomset and Christophe Ringer (Privacy and Human Rights).
FRONT COVER: Mural entitled “A Voice to be Thankful For” by muralists Eatcho & Jeremy Nichols, created with the support of the Black United Fund of Oregon, Vox Siren, and Art Uprising, on Alberta Street, Portland, Oregon.
This report was made possible by the financial support of:
CarEth Foundation | Foundation for a Just Society | Ford Foundation | Kellogg Foundation | Libra Foundation